Raw Nutty Popcorn Bars

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One of my oldest memories as a kid was the good old muesli bar – Uncle Toby’s apricot or choc chip, at the beach or next to the pool in summer, spending hours in the water, emerging sun-drenched and starving . . . mum would always be there with a bag full of muesli bars. So here’s a little take on a muesli bar that cuts the sugar and processing. Packed with nuts, coconut and chia seeds . . . they’ll keep you energised all day and creeping back to the fridge for more of the caramelly-nutty-popcorn goodness.

¼ cup uncooked popcorn kernels (1 ½ cups cooked popcorn)
½ cup brown rice syrup
½ cup coconut oil, melted
2 cups nuts, roughly chopped
1 cup coconut flakes
2 cups gluten free oats
2 tbsp chia seeds
1 tbsp cacao nibs

If you have an air-popping pop-corn machine use this, otherwise pop the popcorn in a pan with 1 tsp coconut oil and a pinch of salt, covered, over medium heat. Continue to toss the pan (with the lid on) as you hear the corn popping until the ‘pops’ become fewer and fewer and all your corn is popped.
In a small saucepan, heat the brown rice syrup and coconut oil until combined and a thin liquid – if you want these bars to be completely raw you can skip this step and just add the coconut oil and rice syrup raw. It works both ways I just find you get more of a caramel flavour if you combine them quickly over heat.
In a large bowl mix the syrup & coconut oil mixture with your popcorn, nuts, oats and coconut flakes until combined. Press into a large, lined rectangle dish and sprinkle over the chia seeds and cacao nibs.
Place in the freezer for about an hour, until set and cut into whatever shape/size you like your bars. Best kept in the fridge to ensure the coconut oil stays set and keeps the bars nice and chewy.
Makes about 20 bars.
Enjoy xx

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